Through our Fast Track articles,
we pride ourselves in helping you develop the skills needed to excel at work.
We’ve helped you with the likes of client meetings, networking, and dealing
with difficult colleagues, but this month, we want to highlight the opportunities
you may have to upskill yourself at work.
Upskilling is simply learning
additional skills and knowledge that can help you work better and smarter –
which can eventually increase your workplace responsibilities. There’ll always
be aspects of your work unique to your own industry, but every company has
resources to help you pick up the extra skills you may be lacking when you
Here are five ways you can start
upskilling yourself while at work:
If you want to learn about a
specific skill, one of the best ways to do this is to shadow a colleague who is
already proficient and can show you the ropes. Perfect for creative and design
work, where you may be talented in one discipline (such as illustration)
but want to dip your toe into others (photography, video etc.), shadowing will
mean you gain some experience without the responsibility of tackling a project
before you’re ready.
Get in touch with a co-worker who
you want to shadow and see if there are any tasks they’d be comfortable showing
you. If you know what you want to learn, but don’t know anyone you can shadow,
speak with your manager and they’ll be able to help you find someone.
Watch Webinars and Conferences
No matter what industry you work in, there are many online options for you to stay up to date with the latest strategies and pick up a few skills along the way. Websites such as Skillshare are filled with educational videos on everything from graphic design to sales tactics, while other companies may stream seminars or larger conferences that you can join.
Competitors run these events to try and attract new clients and customers by showing themselves to be a thought-leader in their industry. Keep an eye out for any interesting talks and you may even find yourself improving on how your competitors do business!
Get a Qualification
Education doesn’t stop once you’ve left school or university! There are always more qualifications that you can pick up while you’re working that will show your dedication to improving yourself and enhancing your skill set.
Work in PR or marketing? Consider the options from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. If you’re looking to be promoted to a more senior position, leadership and management training can help you move from working in a team to leading one. You’ll have to organise your study with a senior member of your company, and courses such as these are rarely free, but many businesses are willing to invest in their staff when chances for promotion open up.
Start a Personal Project
While reading and hearing about a skill builds a solid foundation of knowledge, many people find the best way to learn something new is to get stuck in and see what you can do. You may think that an employer will frown upon you for experimenting with new software rather than progressing with your own tasks, but so long as you’re trying to upskill yourself, your employer will see the value in your project.
Speak with your manager and explain what you’d like to try out. They may be able to point you to some case studies from past projects or give you a task they’d appreciate a new opinion on. Try finding some advanced work already completed by another colleague and experiment to see how you would approach the same task.
Ask for Training
Above all else, never underestimate the ability to simply ask more senior members of your department for training. Many industries and workplaces have specialisms that you can decide to pursue after you’ve got to grips with your new role.
Ask your manager or a senior member of a department if there are any opportunities to grow specific skills you’re interested in. They may be able to give you individual training or assign you to projects that will help you gain specific experience. If you pick up a new skill quickly and excel in using it, you may even be trusted to train new starters who join your team in the future.
What new skills are you learning? Let us know your progression plans on Twitter at @viking_chat.